Band of the Hour: Afrobeta
Peanut butter and chocolate. Pizza and beer. Afrobeta's Smurfio and Cuci. Some things were just meant to be together.
By Rayme Samuels
Afrobeta has been making music for 1 year, 9 months, 2 weeks and 3 days. On their own, Smurfio and Cuci know a thing or two about music -- together they are unstoppable, with a sound that can best be described as an unexpectedly colorful explosion of feel good lyrics, electronic beats and psychedelic mischief.
Music lovers well versed in the Miami scene, the duo kept on running into each other at musical haunts like Jazid, Churchill's and the North Beach Bandshell before finally deciding to join forces. Christina "Cuci Amador" Garcia serves as the spunky resident siren of the group and does her thing on lead vocals. Tony "Smurfio" Laurencio, who represents Afrobeta on guitar and synthesizer, is a veteran music maker who has toured with heavy hitters like Pitbull, Jorge Villamizar, Jeremias, Christian Castro and Bacilos. Their creative process is twofold: Cuci brings the ideas for lyrics and melodies, Tony always asks, "What tempo is it in?"
"Miami is a tough crowd," explains Cuci. "If you can do it here, you can do it anywhere." Finding inspiration in other rising Miami talent like Monkey Village, The Spam All-Stars, Sueñalo and Elastic Bond pushes Afrobeta to their creative limits. "We go to see our fellow musicians play and they come see us - we love to be inspired by them," she continued.
If you had to fit Afrobeta into a musical box, one would be hard pressed to choose between disco house, ghettotech and funk. Smurfio and Cuci have inevitably created a new sound, culling influence from their heroes Bjork, Celia Cruz, Erland Oye, Chicago, Van Halen, Infected Mushroom, Juana Molina and Mouse on Mars.
Without a doubt, success is in the cards for this quirky pair. They recently won a spot in MySpace Latino's Get Your Band Sponsored showcase competition. If they win, the duo will propel themselves onto the music fast track with a sponsorship by MySpace, iTunes and Gibson, as well as a chance to play the indie showcase at the Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York City. No matter how things go this week, this summer will be spent recording their highly anticipated first album. Garnering so much acclaim in such a short time, Afrobeta are definitely ones to watch.
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